My SO is a girl with PTSD

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Sam_Hill, May 29, 2020.

  1. Sam_Hill

    Sam_Hill Fapstronaut

    Hi Fapstronauts and SO's! Longpost ahead.

    Mods, I'm not sure about this post. Delete if necessary but please tell me if there's any place on this website I can post it. I need eyes and replies for this to be useful. Thanks

    If you read the following story, please share advice, thoughts, or any sort of impression my story leaves on you. I have held this story guarded and I think I've completely lost perspective on my own situation. Thank you!

    I'm a guy coming back to this website after a long time. I've been a self-aware porn addict for the last 6 years and have "tried" to quit many times without having real intent or knowledge behind it. One week here, 4 days there pretty much for 6 years.

    Two years ago I fell in love with a girl very unlike anyone I've met. At the time she channeled a powerful charisma and commitment towards God's good life. As a believer in but not a follower of God, her lifestyle and philosophy were shining stars to me. She shared with me early on that she had uncovered repressed memories of having been completely sexually abused by her dad very young several times. I said "that's awful" and never really thought much of it. She also shared that she had been filmed... you see where this is going. We spoke about porn once in those early days. I shared my understanding of its evil but also shared that I struggle with it.

    After two weeks of officially being a couple she started to have serious emotional troubles manifesting as large downward mood swings and inescapable self-defeating belief systems. This problem would occur every 7 or 10 days and I'd be with her trying to talk her out of her thought loops and make her happy, and that's what I've done since.

    I never really thought about porn affecting our relationship (hindsight is 20/20) and never cared to browse incognito. We didn't speak about it, of course. But one regular day maybe two months in, she was searching something and a porn website came up in suggested while I wasn't in the room. She didn't say anything for a couple hours but had a noticeable change in mood. She left for the night awkwardly, and only texted me why she had acted strangely.

    The next day she drove over and said "I can't be with you if you're doing this" and I panicked. I said whatever I could to get her to stay with me, and at the time I thought I was going to swear off of porn and start a new life. That's not at all what I did.

    Flash forward to April 1 of this year. She moves in with me and my parents because she was going to kill herself. Over the last two years her mood swings have gotten worse and more frequent and the worst of her horrible beliefs turn some of her depressed rants into vengeful destructive rage. I have been lying through my teeth for two years. She constantly asks in her depressions if she can trust me, and I constantly lie and reassure her she can. Despite this, I had proposed to her earlier in the year. So now we live together and are getting her therapy and antidepressants and doctors. But now that she's here the mood swings start growing and multiplying and now it seems like life is Hell for both of us.

    Flash forward again to May 4. I leave for my first day back at work and when I get home she's gone and her ring is on the table. She comes back in a couple hours and tells me she looked on my computer and found that I had accounts that were active recently. She talks about how betrayed she is and how she hates me and how she hates men and gets severely enraged. She smashes the table with her fists, throws her iced coffee down, gets up and punches a dent in the particleboard door. My parents come out and separate us and my Mom takes her for a couple hours. I'm called later to talk with her in front of my Mom as a mediator. Generally she has no interest in reconciliation but is still getting intensely enraged and thought-looping. I'm told to leave, and when my girlfriend comes back into our room the first thing she does is pick up her Macbook and smash it on the floor. Shes beyond the pale now and throwing anything she can find. I try to grab her by the shoulders and she punches me many times in the chest and stomach, screaming and shouting "kill me", finally kicking me. I shout for my parents to call the cops. My mom comes to sit with her awaiting their arrival and the energy is diffused. The cops take her to the hospital where she stays in a psyche ward for three days.

    The day she's taken away I am struck with bouts of crying and talking to myself. I came to many conclusions that night. My lying and shame have prevented me from having any kind of good life. I broke this poor girl in two by being a perfect storm of wanting to change but lying to myself and to her about where I even was. Suddenly I realized I was to blame for everything that was wrong; that I was a lying awkward fearful guarded needy beta with no money and no girlfriend because of how I had led my life. I felt intense guilt for doing so very wrong by this girl, and begged God to see her through and thanked Him for showing me my faults. I made a commitment then to live a better life with integrity.

    She came back from the psyche ward about three weeks ago. I told her how I had come to understand my guilt and that I could not hope for forgiveness, but that I was going to fix my life because of her and I was grateful for that. She said that was very mature of me and she loves me and wants to work through this stuff and support me in my journey to NoFap freedom. So we're back together, and I'm struggling my way towards frontbrain growth and good living!

    These last three weeks we have lived separately in the same household. She has continued to suffer her mood swings and dismal thought-loops, culminating in last weekend. On Saturday night she had an episode last very long and the more I tried to talk her out of it the more she hated me, finally ending up in my Mom having to come parent her and lift her spirits. I decided that night that I was done being belittled and pushed away. The next morning she called me and said she's really freaking out and needs me to come. I go to her to find her sobbing and hyperventilating after having cut herself a lot.

    We get her on the phone with her therapist who turns things around for her and shows her that she really does have PTSD and that this is happening now because she's finally safe and loved. She then read a downloaded book on the condition which connected a lot of dots for her. Now she believes in treatment and knows that things can get better! She miraculously got a next-day appointment with a group of trauma-specialist counselors who are going to take her through her next steps of treatment, and things have never looked better for her.

    Our relationship now is really far apart. We live separately, but that doesn't stop me from coming by to check in and give her big hugs and kind words. I am committed to sheltering her and keeping her safe while she goes through treatment. Still though, my heart is being pulled in two different directions. She said to me "I don't want to have sex until I know porn is completely out of our lives and it'll never happen again."

    I've been to rehab and I know that an addict can never guarantee sobriety. I broke my streak 3 days ago and don't have the heart to even tell her. I worry that our pasts are too much to live with and that each of our individual struggles make each others' much harder. My gut and heart have both been on "escape" mode since last weekend. At the same time, I love her and feel honor-bound to stay with the person I've been through so much with. As I said, I am at least going to stay with her until these immediate PTSD treatments are completed in 12 weeks.

    My PMO addiction has ruled more than half my life. I'm going to kick it out and be free. But I'm not sure I can do it with this girl.

    I think I have found my answers just by typing all this out.

    If you read to the end of this story, thank you. Please post any spare thought, criticism, advice, anything you have to say. Even if it's not a complete thought, or you dont think its helpful. If you read this, tell me anything that comes to mind.

    Sam Hill
    Submariner likes this.
  2. SequinHistory

    SequinHistory Fapstronaut

    Discovering your partner has a porn addiction causes PTSD so, on top of her sexual abuse as a child, I can’t imagine how hard this must be your partner.

    You have to start being 100% honest and you cannot relapse.

    It’ll do too much damage if you continue to lie and hide your behaviour, and you’ll keep triggering her PTSD. If you don’t think you can cut P and M out of your life completely from today, you need to seriously think about your future together.
  3. Nezir

    Nezir Fapstronaut

    Hey man. First of all mad props to you. I know what it takes to love and support someone with PTSD. Fighting an addiction on top of it doesn't make it easier. It speaks volumes about you.

    One question that came to my mind while reading your story is if your SO would find it problematic if you masturbated without porn. I am sure you have already considered it yourself, as it would be much easier to only quit porn without masturbation. But what are your thoughs on that?

    Another thing is I hope she understands that even with dedication it takes time and effort to break an addiction and that she is as understanding and patient as you are with her PTSD.

    I'd suggest to be completely open and honest about it. This is also in your own interesst as you really seem like a good willed guy and lying has ultimately stressed you so much. Make her understand that you love her and that you are willing to change your habbits but you have a years old stubborn addiction. And addictions of any kind take patience and dedication to break no matter how much you hate them. You could tell her that you hate that addiction but in order to break it you will need her supoort and understanding. If she is not understanding then it is going to be one hell of a challenge. Don't lose hope though as I believe that you have the strength to bare what ever may come.
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
  4. You already wrote that you decided to leave her - so the intention of your thread is not completely clear to me.

    It is my impression that you pretended to want to quit porn for her; You did not want it yourself (because she would not like to be with you when she knew you consume porn). This is the reason you will not make it: you blame your misery on others, not on yourself. It is not her fault when you continue to use porn. She is completely unrelated to your Porn problem. It is just your mind that made this twisted connection as an excuse to run away from your problems.

    Please read your story to yourself again and realize that you are acting continuously cowardly and irresponsibly:
    Lying about your porn use -> I think you do not understand at all: Do you want to hide it or do you want to quit porn? If you are lying, it means that you are not committed to quit.
    Planning to leave her after 12 weeks -> You want to show your peers that you are responsible, that is why you take this decision to fake your love. She needs someone to love her, not someone to be dishonest with her.

    If you really want to help her (I am actually not sure that this is indeed your intention), give her love and affection. If you can not do it, organize help from others - her friends, some professional,

    You act like a school kid that is trying to please his peers above all, but fails to take responsibility for his own actions.
    You are 25 years on this planet. Do you think this is actually your age? It is time for you to grow up to your physical age now. Or do you continuously want to run away from problems (yours and others)?
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  5. Sam_Hill

    Sam_Hill Fapstronaut

    Hey man thanks for your kind words, and thank you for reading. For myself, I know I don't succeed doing M without P. My thinking escalates and brings me closer to P. So for now at least I'm hardmode. I'm not sure how to handle my most recent relapse... when she is clear-headed she is understanding and supportive but when triggered she is hurt and victimized. I've kind of settled on I won't lie if she asks but I'm not gonna tell her if she doesn't. It feels bad, but I also don't want to create any more incidents like we've been through by telling her at the wrong time.

    Thanks for your support man! I will be coming on here every couple days so I'll keep up with you :) Stay strong brother.
    Submariner likes this.
  6. Submariner

    Submariner Fapstronaut

    Hi mate!

    Very intriguing story. I may come up with advise, but have to think about it for a little while first. Just writing this post to say that you are a truly good and loyal person. You can be proud of yourself.
  7. Sam_Hill

    Sam_Hill Fapstronaut

    Thank you for reading and for saying hard truths. You're right about a lot, guy. I have no defense for myself.
    I don't really know what question I was asking, and I may have misrepresented myself as to where I'm at. But, the point of my post was to lay everything on the table and open up to the folks here, good or bad.

    This whole thing has shown me a lot of ways that I'm sick in the head and a lot of ways beyond just addiction. I've let myself down by how I've lived my life right down to my thoughts, all the way back to early social life in gradeschool. My lying extended deep into myself and allowed all my guilt to sit subtly in the background. I've lied my whole life, stolen things from those close to me, let people down when they needed me, always blamed others, always avoided what made me uncomfortable, and always clung neurotically to what did make me comfortable.

    I'm not going to live like that anymore. Every day I'm trying to gain perspective on my toxicity and ultimately challenge it. I want to be the opposite of everything you say I am; responsible, honest, and brave.

    As to how that relates to my girlfriend? I am going to help her through the hardest time in her life. Thats for me, that's what I feel I owe her. It could be 12 weeks or 24 before the treatment really starts helping her daily life. My love for her is very real, but I speak against it. I'm not convinced of its future beyond this catastrophic time. Though I don't blame her for her rants and raves, I know I cannot spend my life with someone who will periodically disregard our relationship and devalue me even if she's coming from a hurt place. So, I'll reevaluate then when we've had a lot of time to work on ourselves and come to terms with our unique illnesses.

    I will try and keep my performative ego in check, and I will pour my heart and soul into loving this girl who has gone through so much with me and for me. Thank you again for your honesty.
    stegiss likes this.
  8. Sam_Hill

    Sam_Hill Fapstronaut

    Thanks very much man! I really appreciate you reading. I have done a whole lot wrong, I have a lot of guilt. Its nice to know that I can have that in one hand and have pride for what I've done right in the other. Lots of love brother! :)
    Submariner likes this.
  9. Thank you for answering. I did not expect it.
    There is no point in looking backwards any time and if you can live up to the plans you layed out here for your future and development - respect.

    Keep in mind where she comes from: You wrote that she had been filmed. So, she is an example of the evil practices you (and actually me too) have been supporting by pouring money and clicks and likes into the porn industry. The psychological problems she has now are a result of our careless and selfish behavior. If you say that you want to be with her, I think that she has all right to demand from you that you stop using porn immediately and for good.
    You may say "yes, but it is an addiction and it will take time". And here I disagree: If you promise to her to be with her and to support her, this also means that you commit to never ever supporting this evil porn industry ever again. Don't give them your money, don't show your support by clicking through porn pages or provide likes - because if you do, you also support the violence and crimes that she has had to endure.

    This should actually be a lesson for all of us, what our careless and selfish action causes. It is more dramatic in your situation where you are together with a person who suffers, but essentially, we all should realize what damage and pain we induce.

    That she (and others) developed PTSD (and other psychological problems) is our fault. Her PTSD did not come out of nowhere. You are part of the reason why she developed it. Now you are in the situation that you can be part of the solution too. Get real, don't anymore fool around, and stand by and help those people that are near to you. :)
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
    SequinHistory likes this.
  10. Psalm27:1my light

    Psalm27:1my light Fapstronaut

    Have you ever heard of betrayal trauma? You have betrayed her and lied for 2 years AFTER she was open a vulnerable about what she has been through. She isn’t suffering ptsd because she feels “ safe” she’s suffering because she’s re experiencing betrayal by someone who was supposed to protect her. I cannot even imagine going through this after what has already happened in her childhood. Please let her go, you are only going to hurt her more. She deserves someone who will be safe. Lying to her about your relapses is also causing trauma, because she wants so badly to believe you but her gut is constantly warming her that you are not safe. It is driving her crazy. Look up betrayal trauma to better understand what she’s going through.
  11. Sam_Hill

    Sam_Hill Fapstronaut

    Hell yeah man. That's about one of the most motivating things I've ever heard on the subject. Thanks a lot for that!
    stegiss likes this.
  12. Tlil

    Tlil Fapstronaut

    I'm completely new to this community, but I couldn't help and stop to read your post. It felt very similar to the situation that I'm in currently, except the extreme trauma my SO is not in. I do admit my porn use has caused her trauma, and it opened my eyes to what evil this stuff is. What my selfish acts have caused on her is an intense pain that I cannot erase. I can't imagine the pain your SO is going through, and she's not wrong to not want sex from you. I wouldn't want sex from my woman after sleeping with a bunch of men over me, even if she had a sex addiction. It's how many women view it, and it's legit. Your body reacts to this stuff as if it's happening. Otherwise, you wouldn't get off in your hands. Why do you think you "need" porn to "get off?" Your brain has been trained to view it as real. Anyway, I don't blame your SO for anything she's facing and feeling. This story is absolutely a nightmare, and for anyone to have to go through it, it's hell.

    I applaud you for wanting the best for her, but at the same time, it seems you really don't understand what is best for her. Someone with trauma needs solid truth. You hiding things from her not only shows you don't respect her enough to be honest, but it also makes me wonder if you really do want to help her. Your image in her mind needs to be real. Even your falls. Real means you fall. Your girlfriend is still with you despite all of this. This says a lot of what she sees and wants. Someone to betray her in the worst case scenario, and to try and understand you is huge. It's huge that you are being loyal and staying, this relationship sounds extremely crazy and stressful right now, but if you both honestly love each other, it's time for that honesty. If her thinking you are working on yourself and battling porn is good. It is, and if you go into this with a mindset of, "I am an addict, I will slip and fall again." You will. Being sober is hard, but it's the best thing you can do for yourself. I'm not saying you will not fall again, but I'm saying if you are planning to ditch your girlfriend once she's better.... that's a bit harsh. If I had the mindset that my SO is working on herself and going to try and get better with a possibility of striving together as we are, and then after I get off my addiction and she goes, "OK bye ya! I helped right?" That would holy crap kill me. Because it sounds like she's not given up on the relationship completely... or else she would've ditched you completely a while ago. I am saying, if you aren't ready to actually love yourself, but also to be honest with the love you are giving. Or you are going to crush her even more later. There is a probability she wants to be with you, and you can't play with her emotions like that if you are going to crush them later.

    I wanted to highlight something you said that hit me hard and kind of opened my eyes to my selfishness in my own relationship. You said that, "I was done being belittled and pushed away." and also you said in reply in another post, " I know I cannot spend my life with someone who will periodically disregard our relationship and devalue me even if she's coming from a hurt place." I need you to take a step back and look at what you are doing every time you decide to choose pornography, just as I have. This to us isn't meaningful, but to a woman that is supposed to confide, trust, and be close to, it's the most dishonest, devaluing thing we can do to a woman. What you really need to say is, "Do I want to continue to devalue her and disregard her in my relationship? " Because buddy, as much as you or I don't want to admit it, that's what we do to our women when we do this shit. That's why I want to quit. I'm sick of training my mind to devalue someone I love and claim that I love. The question is do you actually want to quit porn for a better life? If it's not right for her to devalue you, push you away, and disregard her in the relationship. You need to do the same exact thing every time you choose porn and then you can ask her to not do that. Every time you choose porn, you have to know you are devaluing her by looking at that. You are pushing her away by choosing some other form over her. You are disregarding her in a relationship because trust and sexual intimacy, is extremely important in one. You ruin that every time you click on those videos. I just wanted to let you know, this is what I had to learn what the hell I was doing to my SO, and I'm trying my best to not do it to her anymore because she is better than any woman I jerked off to. Hell, so am I. It's hard, so damn hard to quit, but if we stick together, we can beat this horrible cruel act that is causing us men to be weak, and causing women to suffer. We need to stick together.
  13. Sam_Hill

    Sam_Hill Fapstronaut

    Thanks for reading and putting so much effort into responding. You're definitely right about everything, and I appreciate you trying to illuminate me. I'm lost and stuck, friend :( I know I've done a lot of wrong by her but that doesn't mean I now have to marry her. I don't have any emotional trust in her. She can be fully there for me one minute, and vapor in my hands the next. It makes me feel like a child, wanting a hug and not knowing if I'll get it or not.

    I don't know how this goes from here, but I feel my hands are tied. I can't break it off now, she lives here and depends on me and my family. I legitimately want to see her through this because she legitimately needs somebody to lean on. Plus, I don't know how it'll be after treatment. It's fully possible I will be able to build emotional trust in her again, and if that happens, this is the relationship of a lifetime.

    I'm not planning on leaving, I'm giving myself the option to leave down the road when we both know ourselves better. Maybe that makes me a bad partner or a bad person; I don't know. But I know I'm in a corner with this relationship with no right answers left...

    That compassion for your SO is a really big deal. Congratulations on making it here, man. Despite our troubles, we need only look at the masses to know that we are the lucky ones. Thanks again for reading and responding, and welcome to the community! Good luck to you, my friend.
  14. Tlil

    Tlil Fapstronaut

    Hey! Thanks to replying! No, that doesn't mean you have to marry her now, it would be a disaster for both of you. You shouldn't marry anyone right now, and I only advise that because you really need to make a loving commitment to yourself most of all. It sounds like you do love her very much, and it does show through that feeling and showing of support, and that's very kind and good. The one thing you cannot do through this is if you want it to work out, which it seems you do, please keep that goal in mind. I know you cannot change her, just as much as she cannot change you, but you can change yourself to being the greatest person that you can be right now. You aren't married, and that's the best time to do this, and you don't have to get married right after either or both of you get through these issues. Things are not set in stone, but if you truly DO want things to work out, I advise keeping that goal strong in your mind. I know it may not work out, and actually that's where a lot of MY insecurities will pop up and I get super tempted to go to porn, but also... I want to marry my SO. No, she is not perfect, but neither am I. As far as I can see it, I don't want to walk into a marriage with this porn problem I have right now, whether it be her or not, but I do want it to be her... and I don't want to be hunkered down by this problem ANYWAY even if I never were to marry! It's belittling and hard to live in any fashion being controlled by things other than yourself. It's been one of the hardest things I've faced, but in my eyes, I would like to be able to face even harder challenges down the road one day. That will make me strong and even more of a whole person.

    So, I want to advise to then stop focusing all your attention on your girlfriend. You aren't married, and you do need emotional support, but right now, you may need to learn how to give that to yourself also. In healthy matters... because we as porn addicts tend to go to the wrong places for emotional support. Your girlfriend may be a source for that, but in life, she cannot be a soul source for it, just as you cannot be that for her either. In my eyes, you are doing something very very big, so it requires big action. Your big action and her big action right now is healing, and recovery. That means you, whether you spend a lifetime with her or not, need to take a big action of self love... So put your expectations of the relationship down, only have it to encourage your goals, and remember, we are doing all of our actions for a reason. She is reacting from you probably STILL from the two months in your relationship when she first felt betrayed, remember that. She's been feeling how uncertain and also batted left in right from you for two years. I'm not telling you that to mope in it, I'm telling you that you two have an opportunity to heal individually here, but also together. I'm not even telling you to fix that, but remember just as she could've wished and hoped and known it was for both your sakes, she couldn't change you in two years. It has to be you. You can't change her for the rest of her life, just as she can't you. You two can definitely influence each others' actions! But it definitely is better to do that with an open, loving, honest heart. It does mean for you to be completely honest with her from now on. I know it may be risky, but start trusting her with your falls now. I can message you later if you'd like to talk about our girls or if you need someone to talk to because it's hard right now to focus on yourself and her and everything, believe me! But I also want you to understand the power of really putting power into yourself! And you can, with support and answers, you can find the solution, and we are all here, with intelligence to find it and use it. I am a believer of doing it with others. We will grow more and faster.

    It's admirable and I'm actually happy you see yourself in a boat of wanting to stay and help. Do that for yourself also. The help she needs and you are trying to get for her, you need that too. Actionable things will lead to recovery, and lots and lots and lots of practice of self love. You both have trust issues to break through... and that takes time. I guarantee as long as you are both STRIVING for that, time is not the issue. It's only the effort into loving yourself and healing and recovering. Don't set expectations for her, just as you can't seem to do for yourself and keep. In her eyes, you couldn't gain her trust with sex and emotional love fully for 2 years. She's still giving you that chance to gain it, or else she would've flown away. You need to trust in her emotionally as well, and that does absolutely mean she needs to recover, but that does mean you do also. It's a very good thing, not a daunting thing at all. But do not label time with it. What you have to recover from may take years. What she may need to recover and heal from may take years. Don't give someone with that much of a horrible history to heal within 12 weeks to meet your expectations... Trust takes time to build, especially the pain that comes along with it. She being PTSD says she is going to learn to process pain, a lot of it, and learn to correctly store it in her memory. It seems she may have not done it with the pain you gave her, and that takes time. Look at improvement day by day within yourself and from her. Try to focus on what's going right and dang it, snatch on like a pit bull and feed that.

    So please please please look in to yourself. It's a fun, and difficult at first process. But fight this porn addiction with loving eyes. It's the only way you can fight evil correctly and have it be out of your system! With any drug and any horrible thing.. so patience, my brother, we are fighting a lot of things, but cannot do it without wanting to, replacing them, setting goals, and looking to see how those that have conquered struggled but succeeded in handling it. And are continuing. Find everything in your power to conquer it day by day, and be honest with yourself and others. Who cares if this stuff is hard? It's harder to die with a life of regret and a life of loss, a life of lies. Sorry, I ramble a lot! I'd like to gain friends here and grow a lot. I have to talk like this everyday to myself to not get too deep into my urges, but I want to become part of a growing community who can at the end say we have fought and beat the biggest drug out there. And personally.. I want to see my wife at the end of this, both of us healed... happy.. and new inside and out. It takes work, love, effort, and honesty. And more, but let's strive for that. Don't dismiss all the good work you have put in and are.. and also, take ownership of yourself. The time is now to transform into something awesome. Get help, do everything in your power to heal, just as she is probably trying on her end. Do everything you can, and MORE to love yourself, to grow. To grow into a man is powerful, loving, and really really awesome. When things get hard, holy crap they do, learn how to overcome it every time, and learn more about yourself, and do everything in your power and others to prevent you from falling, set up safeguards. Dude, I put up software on my computer. This crap better be harder for me to get to if I don't want to reach it! Do things that make it easier to love yourself. I have to stop writing you novels. Hearing your story actually gave me a lot of hope of my relationship.. ironically. Because as I got to see how your girl is struggling, it empowered me to realize mine is probably struggling just as much as I am or worse, so I have to heal and admire that she's still with me. Just knowing that no matter what hell we go through, it's worth going through it together and finding the end.

    Don't be stuck, find solutions. Don't be lost, find yourself. They may be hard to get to, but that's why we build strength and knowledge for it to become easy. So there is no hard or easy, it's just how bad do we want a better life, and how much love can we give it. Good luck to you, brother, and let me know if you need someone to rant to, to get a computer pat on the back, hug whatever. Times are hard. I just found it very magnetic of me to come to your post and I feel like we can do this. :)

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